Two days after I sent in my application to Seton Hall I turned on the television to watch the news after a long day at school and the top news story was about a man who had driven on to this campus, shot himself in his car, and walked into a residence hall, bleeding at the stomach from the wound.
Needless to say, I didn’t really have a good opinion of the University at that time.
Like one of my best friends who pushed me to apply here though, once I visited campus every negative opinion of the school I had was wiped away; I knew this was where I was going to spend the next four years of my life – it was an easy decision.
That decision has been the best one I have ever made.
Coming into freshman year I was more anxious and nervous than I had ever been. I was never a social butterfly, and in high school it took me three years to find a real group of friends. The thought of going through that again scared the Hell out of me. I made a promise to myself that when orientation came around in the summer, I would come out of my shell.
The promise led me to a close friendship with my peer adviser and the first piece of advice he gave me was to get involved, so get involved I did.
Naturally, as a former editor at my high school paper, the first table I went to at the involvement fair was The Setonian’s. I signed up as a staff writer for the sports section what now seems like forever ago and haven’t stopped writing for the paper until now, in this very column.
This newspaper has been a very large part of my life for the past four years. Wednesday nights will not be the same after graduation. The close friendships I have made through being an editor over the past three years will never be forgotten. The current editors however, my staff, I hold closest to my heart. I’m very grateful that the readers of this paper are not subject to the shenanigans and madness that occur on production nights (if you have walked by the top floor of the student center on Wednesday nights and heard pterodactyl noises, no, you are not hearing things). We are a tight knit group of (“spooooooorts”) news and music junkies that were meant to be together, and they all have made my last year at the newspaper I love extremely memorable.
My peer adviser helped me so much my freshman year that I applied for the job that April and have had it for the past three years. The job opened up doors for me at the University, on top of giving me countless co-workers and friends that I am proud to call my “PA family”. Lucky for me, through the job I met my very best friend, my girlfriend, who has helped me through some of the toughest times in my life.
What made my transition from high school to college life truly successful though, was not getting involved with The Setonian, or being a Peer Adviser.
I will walk at graduation with the same close-knit group of friends (with the addition of two people) that I have had since the first week of freshmen year. Call it fate, destiny, or whatever you will; two of the people I befriended at orientation (one of whom, like me, really loathed Casino Night) became friends with my high school friend who pushed me to apply here. The rest is history. We have grown as a group, emotionally and in numbers, together into adulthood over the past four years, and the memories they have provided me with, I will never forget.
Thank you to everyone who has had an impact on me over the past four years and made me who I am today.
Nicholas Parco is a senior journalism major from Hazlet, N.J. He can be reached at Nicholas.firstname.lastname@example.org.